Monday, September 26, 2011

Whitney and the commodification of sex

I watched NBC's new show Whitney, and I'm stuck on the fact that a major plot point is that heroine goes looking through her closet for sexy, and discovers that they're all out of sexy, and need to go to the sexy store to get some more.

I can see that the big comedic payoff is Whitney at the hospital in her sexy nurse costume, and that this is gets her there. Maybe in a previous era, she'd have gone to her priest (which could have also been very funny), or a female friend. Instead, she goes to her friends, and her friends take her to a store, where the help, advice, and costume are all handed out by a sales clerk in latex.

So what's going on here? Is the main character so out of touch with her own sexuality and the intimacy that should be the backbone of any romantic relationship that she has to go shopping for it? Or have we as a culture outsourced romance completely to the retail sector?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Writing it out

Seth Godin reminds me that I really should be writing every day. So here's my daily brain dump, so I can relax and think about something else.

1. Work - I'm in the beginning stages of testing a new system that might be awesome, if it'll do everything we want it to. I need to make that call, but am trying to glean the info I need without full training in the system, and with only a small subset of the data that I really want to put in there. So it's exciting, boring, and frustrating, all at the same time, which is a hard cocktail to swim in.

2. Kids - Both our kids are finally sleeping in their own rooms. Thing One has been in her own room for years now, but Thing Two has been in our room basically since he was born. We've been sleep training him this month (he's 8 months old), using a modified version of the info in Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, which has worked really well. He wasn't really sleeping through the night, but we moved him anyway, and as soon as we moved him, he started sleeping through. I think being in our room meant that if he stirred and/or woke slightly during a light part of the sleep cycle, then our reaction would wake him further, leading to multiple wakings in the night. But now that he's alone, he's down to just 1 or 2 wakings, generally at 10 and 4. It's been a huge boost to everyone's quality of life.

And Thing One's having her tonsils out in a couple of weeks. We're hoping for the best and preparing for the worst.

3. House - The yard's a bit neglected, but I've been cleaning the garage on my lunch hours this week, which is a load off my mind. They say a cluttered space leads to a cluttered mind, and I have found that being surrounded by clutter increases my stress level. To extend the metaphor, having a cluttered garage/workshop that I walk through several times a day leaves me creatively blocked, and stressed out on an unconscious level. So it's nice to be getting that cleaned up. It might even have profound effects.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Up All Night feels real enough for TV

Let's be honest: Sitcoms usually suck. And Saturday Night Live alums tend to not be very good at playing realistic human beings. But the early clips of NBC's new sitcom Up All Night made me think/hope it might not suck, and might actually pull some decent humor out of being a new parent. My wife and I have two small kids, and I can vouch that there is a lot to laugh at in our situation. There's also a lot to cry at, and a lot to yell about, but I'd rather laugh than do either of those, so Yay For Comedy! (as long as the dad's not an idiot and the relationship looks like they actually love each other, etc., etc.)

Okay, sometimes the dad, played by Will Arnett, is kind of an idiot. But it's more the kind of idiocy that we all exhibit when we're sleep deprived and frustrated. His reaction to his own inability to find cheese in the grocery store rang true to me. I have those same "What the hell? I used to be smart!" kind of moments just about every day.

And, yes, the couple snaps at each other over stupid stuff. Which is exactly what you do when you're tired and frustrated. The "I got less sleep than you did, because I was watching you sleep while I took care of the baby!" argument is such a regular feature in our house that I'm thinking of just giving it a number to save time, as is the "How is it that a baby is stronger than me?" fight with the kid over a diaper change.

So, yeah, I give it my dad stamp of approval. It's funny, and it feels real.